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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"July 11 was World Population Day, an annual occasion on which the United Nations reminds us all of the number of people on the planet -- now approaching 7 billion -- and the monumental challenges entailed in the task of caring for such an enormous human family. Among those challenges was 'ending poverty,' said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement, one whose resolution would "unleash ... vast human potential.' That's undoubtedly true -- were a world free of poverty more than an idle dream. And the good news is that perhaps it is. Poverty is, of course, a highly relative concept, but the usual definition of 'absolute' poverty is an income of less than $1.25 a day." (ForeignPolicy)


"At the Four Seasons restaurant, Peggy Siegal organized a Mandela Day, celebrating the 93rd birthday of Nelson Mandela (born July 18, 1918), and hosted by Dan Abrams, Ann Curry, Billie Jean King, Hoda Kotb, Natalie Morales, Robin Roberts, Al Roker, Brian Williams, with honored guest Morgan Freeman. Mr. Freeman has played Mr. Mandela in the Clint Eastwood directed 'Invictus,' with Matt Damon. Mr. Freeman lives in his native Mississippi. He is currently shooting a Rob Reiner directed film 'Summer at Dog Dave’s' over at Greenwood Lake in New Jersey, which is why he was available to speak at this luncheon ... Also among the guests in the Pool Room of the Four Seasons: Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman’s production partner; Christiane Amanpour, Dari Alexander, Richard Belzer, Marisa Berenson, Tory Burch .." (NYSocialDiary)
 

"One of (House majority whip, Kevin McCarthy) morning cycling mates is Sean Duffy, a 39-year-old freshman and Tea Party sensation from Wisconsin who was once a county prosecutor and, before that, a professional lumberjack and star in MTV’s reality series 'The Real World.' Several of the freshmen live in their House offices so as to pronounce themselves detached from the culture of Washington. Duffy also does so because he has six young children and thousands of dollars of debt accumulated during the seven months he spent without a salary before being elected to Congress. McCarthy says that Duffy has more pressure on him than any other freshman. He arrived as the savant of the political season, a novice who forced the retirement of the 41-year Democratic incumbent and House Appropriations Committee chairman, David Obey. Within weeks of taking office, the Democratic attack ads began and now seem to accompany Duffy’s every vote. In June, Duffy became a 'patriot,' the National Republican Congressional Committee’s euphemism for its most vulnerable incumbents. His town-hall meetings have been edgy. His young family misses him while he spends weeknights on a cot in the Longworth building. After Duffy delivered a painfully unfunny speech at the annual Congressional Dinner in February, McCarthy consoled him by saying, 'I did really badly at that same event two years earlier.' Duffy had actually seen McCarthy’s speech on cable TV and thought it was pretty awesome." (NYTimes)


"The value of the Murdoch family’s shareholding in News Corp has fallen by $1bn since the political firestorm erupted over the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World. A 4.3 per cent slide in News Corp’s shares on Monday to $14.97 in New York left its market value down 17.4 per cent, or $8.3bn, since a July 4 report first revealed that the News of the World, the UK tabloid Sunday newspaper, had accessed and deleted voicemail messages left for Milly Dowler, a teenager found murdered in 2002. The share fall came as one person close to the board said directors were 'perfectly aligned' behind Rupert Murdoch, News Corp’s chairman and chief executive, and his son James as they braced for what looked likely to be a bruising appearance before a UK parliamentary committee on Tuesday." (FT)

The Senator from the great state of Massachusetts!
 "Elizabeth Warren for the first time Monday indicated she was considering a Senate bid against freshman lawmaker Scott Brown (R-Mass.) next year in what would become one of the closest-watched races of the 2012 cycle. If the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) did decide to take on Brown, it would pit against one another two of the largest personalities to emerge on the Washington scene in recent years. In one corner would be Brown — the pickup-truck-driving Cosmo centerfold who shocked the political world when he won the seat held for decades by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D). In the other would be Warren, a liberal rock star, Harvard Law professor, Oklahoma grandmother and Wall Street critic extraordinaire.One indicator of how popular she is: If you typed 'Elizabeth' in Google’s search engine Monday, her name came up second — right after actress Elizabeth Taylor. 'It would be a marquee race of 2012, potentially second only to the presidential race,' said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal group that launched a draft-Warren movement on Monday." (TheHill)

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